If it were only a matter of screwing the parts together to build self-driving cars, we would live in the future today. We could e.g. read and the car would choose the best route by communicating with the other cars. This would prevent traffic jams and fatigue would no longer be dangerous. But unfortunately it's not that simple. The parts must also be able to work together reliably.
And moral questions have to be answered. What happens if a vehicle gets into a situation in which it could probably save the driver but endanger the life of passers-by? Whom should the system save? How should automated working systems be programmed in such borderline situations?
This also involves liability and insurance issues if a system in image recognition does not correctly recognize objects on the street and therefore makes a wrong decision. In spring 2018, Uber decided to put further tests for self-driving robotaxis on hold after such a car in Arizona caught a woman. The driver, who should have intervened in an emergency, looked down at the moment of the impact, as shown by camera shots. Apparently he relied on the system.
It will take a while longer until it is ready for series production than was imagined a few years ago. The big promise of the industry is that fully developed autonomous vehicles could help save the 1.25 million people who die each year from road accidents worldwide. Autonomous driving would be in line with cancer drugs, space travel, or other innovations that have the potential to transform our society and the way we live together.
With the CMC Industry Index, investors are able to invest in a fascinating market without taking the risk of ultimately betting on the wrong company. The CMC industry index for autonomous driving includes 17 companies that generate important income in the field of autonomous driving. In the following we would like to introduce the companies in the CMC industry index.
The front end is crucial. Traditional automakers may specialize in making safe vehicles, but Apple has the right user interface and, with its smartphones and operating systems, provides the platform to make the functions of self-driving cars easy to use.
Waymo continues. The Google subsidiary Waymo was founded in 2016 and continues the work of Google Driverless Cars. In the long term, Waymo wants to focus on providing a service - such as driverless taxis - and not necessarily on the sale of private vehicles, although Waymo has already built its own test vehicles.
Real-time calculations. Intel chips are now installed in almost all autonomous vehicles worldwide. The brain of the human driver will be replaced by the computing power of the Intel chips, which will react in real time and will no longer have a frightening second.
Daughter Cruise brings momentum. General Motors had to announce in late summer 2019 that it would not be possible to meet its own targets when starting self-driving vehicles in large numbers and that the subsidiary Cruise would need even more time to test the systems.
2021 as start time. Ford has set itself the goal of putting the first self-driving car on the road in 2021. To do this, Ford has invested in four different technology companies.
Trend electric car. Tesla is the pioneer in the field of electric vehicles and already offers part of its fleet with self-driving functions.
WHY INVEST IN SELF-DRIVING AUTOMOBILES?
The bullish stance:
- Autonomous driving could be one of the biggest upheavals in society and investors could benefit if they choose the right companies
- Human errors are excluded and driving can thus be far safer worldwide than it is today
- More free time: when traveling in the car it will be possible to concentrate on other things, which increases productivity on the way to work and increases comfort during leisure
- Aggressive driving is ended: computers have no emotions
- Drunk drivers will be a thing of the past
- The police can turn to more important tasks if they have to overgrow traffic less
The pessimistic attitude:
- Vehicles can be manipulated by hackers, which can lead to security problems
- Jobs in taxis or freight forwarders will be eliminated
- People could unlearn how to drive vehicles
- Companies have to insure themselves against deaths caused by incorrectly functioning autonomous driving systems
- In very bad weather, the systems could work less reliably
- The signs on the streets have to change and this will consume large sums of investment